NEWS WORTH NOTING: Amazon honors Moulton Niguel Water District for developing innovative customer service tools; San Diego County Water Authority prevails in open meetings lawsuit

Amazon honors Moulton Niguel Water District for developing innovative customer service tools

Only Water District in the World Recognized for Best Practices in Technology Innovation

Moulton Niguel Water District has earned top honors from Amazon for best practices in cloud innovation, becoming the only water district in the world recognized at Amazon’s annual global innovation competition.

Amazon Web Services, the cloud computing branch of Amazon with more than one million enterprise customers in 190 countries, recognized the Orange County-based water agency for the way it manages data to provide its customers real-time water use information, in an effort to save them money.

“Just as Amazon strives to be the most customer-centric electronic commerce company in the world, Moulton Niguel is committed to advancing innovation as a customer-centric water agency,” said Moulton Niguel Board Member Duane Cave, who represented Moulton Niguel Water District at the 2018 global competition in June. “We’re honored to be recognized by Amazon for developing the best application of state-of-the-art technology and empowering our customers to manage their water use.”

Moulton Niguel earned praises from the e-commerce giant after the District upgraded its online infrastructure to provide customers with real-time water consumption data and visualization tools. That technological upgrade is helping the District and its customers detect leaks, conserve water and save money.

Data Increases Efficiencies, Lowers Customers’ Bills

An indoor leak can go undetected for days or even months, while excessive outdoor watering might go unnoticed for even longer. To address this challenge, Moulton Niguel launched a proactive, water-monitoring tool to provide customers with hourly water consumption data, which are stored, managed and analyzed with the help of Amazon web tools.

“A big challenge in identifying leaks is the lack of data,” said Moulton Niguel General Manager Joone Lopez. “Real-time water data provides early leak detection opportunities for our customers – with the potential for large water savings. Giving customers on-demand access to tools and information at their fingertips translates into more efficient water management.”

Under a pilot program that was partially funded by a grant received from the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, customers now have access to the District’s advanced metering infrastructure program. Every customer has access to an analytics platform, which provides user-friendly dashboards and apps to track water individual water use.

Moulton Niguel: Leader in Water Innovation

Moulton Niguel has established itself as a leader in water technology innovation. In April, the District’s Board of Directors was recognized nationally by the WaterNow Alliance with its Impact Award for accelerating innovative and sustainable water solutions.

Last year, the District was also honored locally with the Association of California Cities – Orange County’s “Golden Hub of Innovation Award” for using water data tools to save customers nearly $20 million in water infrastructure investments.

“We look forward to continued innovation and developing cost-effective programs that help our customers achieve water use efficiency,” added Cave.

The District accepted the recent Amazon Web Services honor during its 2018 Public Sector Summit, which brought together leaders in government, education, and nonprofit organizations from all over the world.

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Moulton Niguel Water District provides high-quality drinking water, recycled water and wastewater treatment services to customers in Aliso Viejo, Laguna Niguel, Laguna Hills, Mission Viejo, San Juan Capistrano and Dana Point. A leader in water efficiency and environmental protection, Moulton Niguel also maintains the lowest average bill in South Orange County.

San Diego County Water Authority Prevails in Open Meetings Lawsuit

Agency’s delegates to MWD comply with Brown Act

Superior Court Judge John S. Meyer ruled in favor of the San Diego County Water Authority on July 20, 2018, in a lawsuit that erroneously alleged the agency was violating the state’s primary open meetings statute, known as the Brown Act.

San Diegans for Open Government, represented by Cory Briggs, sued the Water Authority on June 12, 2017, claiming violations of the Brown Act. Briggs asserted that the four delegates appointed by the Water Authority to the Metropolitan Water District’s Board of Directors were a “legislative body” under the Brown Act. Under that incorrect theory, Briggs argued that any time a majority of MWD delegates talked to one another, or with others, they created a “meeting” that was required to be publicly noticed under the Brown Act.

The Water Authority is one of MWD’s largest customers and has four seats on MWD’s 38-member board. Meyer ruled that the Water Authority’s delegates do not constitute a legislative body subject to the Brown Act, and he awarded the Water Authority court costs.

“During the entire course of this litigation we informed Mr. Briggs and his client that the Water Authority was not violating the Brown Act,” said Water Authority General Counsel Mark Hattam. “We are pleased that the court confirmed that we are in Brown Act compliance.”

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The San Diego County Water Authority sustains a $220 billion regional economy and the quality of life for 3.3 million residents through a multi-decade water supply diversification plan, major infrastructure investments and forward-thinking policies that promote fiscal and environmental responsibility. A public agency created in 1944, the Water Authority delivers wholesale water supplies to 24 retail water providers, including cities, special districts and a military base.

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About News Worth Noting:  News Worth Noting is a collection of press releases, media statements, and other materials produced by federal, state, and local government agencies, water agencies, and academic institutions, as well as non-profit and advocacy organizations.  News Worth Noting also includes relevant legislator statements and environmental policy and legal analyses that are publicly released by law firms.  If your agency or organization has an item you would like included here, please email it to Maven.

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